How can digitalisation of urban services increase sustainable urbanisation? What different approaches and innovations already exist and have proven successful? Kala Vairavamoorthy, director of the International Water Association addresses these questions.
Water & Sanitation
In urban settlements around the world, city administrations struggle, and often fail, to provide essential services, safe spaces, and socio-economic securities to residents. While this poses difficulties and dangers to all inhabitants, the consequences of such neglect are especially severe for low-income women and girls.
Lagos is suffering from severe water shortage due to profit-oriented politics. Akinbode Oluwafemi points out the conflicts and problems around the privatisation of the water sector and offers alternative solutions for one of the world’s most populous cities.
Windhoek—the capital city of Namibia, the most arid country in Sub-Saharan Africa—has long met its severe water challenges through innovation. But its growing population is increasing its demand for water while climate change exacerbates scarce supplies. On the occation of World Water Day 2018, Pierre van Rensburg highlights the city's innovative augmentation strategies to keep the crisis from becoming a catastrophe.
As World Water Day approaches, URBANET interviewed Mathew Kurian of UN University about managing water supplies in secondary cities. Although often overshadowed by megacities, secondary cities face slightly different—but just as significant—water challenges as their larger neighbours. Kurian argues that secondary cities could be important laboratories for innovative financing mechanisms, but that we must first disrupt the entrenched dis-incentives that promote business as usual.
In order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals related to water, sanitation and hygiene, the government of Madagascar has drawn up an action plan and commissioned JIRAMA, the country’s state-owned electricity and water provider, to improve access to safe water supply.
Providing access to urban sanitation is challenging because of space limitations, complex land tenure and higher public health concerns in crowded settlements. This is especially true for low-income urban areas. For URBANET, Jane Njagi describes how this challenge has been tackled in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya.
Asia is one of the regions of the world that is experiencing extremely rapid urbanisation. The Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) has recently launched a photobook in which case studies of four cities in Asia illustrate innovative ways to tackle issues in key sectors such as flood and drainage management, water supply, transport and waste management.